Mark Warburton denies resigning at Rangers despite club saying he has
By Andrew Dickson
Last Updated: 11/02/17 2:09pm
Sky sources understand Mark Warburton, David Weir and Frank McParland "categorically deny" quitting Rangers despite the club saying they have resigned.
The Ibrox club announced manager Warburton, his assistant Weir and head of recruitment McParland had had their resignations accepted at 9pm on Friday night.
Sky sources understand that decision came after an approach from a representative asking for the three to be released from their contracts on Wednesday.
It is thought the request was made due to interest in Warburton from Nottingham Forest, with sources also understanding the request was reversed on Thursday after they appointed Gary Brazil on a deal until the end of the season.
Rangers U20 coach Graeme Murty will take charge of the team for Sunday's Scottish Cup fifth-round tie with Morton, which is live on Sky Sports.
A statement read: "Rangers has accepted the resignations of manager Mark Warburton, assistant manager David Weir and the club's head of recruitment Frank McParland.
"At a meeting with the management team's representative earlier this week, the club were advised Mr Warburton, Mr Weir and Mr McParland wished to resign their positions and leave the club on condition Rangers agreed to waive its rights to substantial compensation.
"Rangers' agreement to waive compensation would assist the management team to join another club.
"This compensation amount was agreed when Rangers significantly improved Mr Warburton and Mr Weir's financial arrangements before the start of this season.
"The Board urgently convened to consider the offer made on behalf of the management team and its ramifications and agreed to accept it and release the trio from the burden of compensation, despite the potential financial cost to the club."
Warburton was appointed at the start of last season and led Rangers to the Scottish Championship title, taking them back into the top flight for the first time since 2012.
They also reached the Scottish Cup final under his guidance, where they lost 3-2 to Hibernian, and won the lower-league Challenge Cup competition with a 4-0 victory over Peterhead.
This season, however, Rangers have struggled for form and currently trail Premiership leaders Celtic by 27 points.
A 1-1 draw with Ross County last weekend also saw Aberdeen overtake them into second on goal difference and Rangers have won just one of their last five league matches.
Warburton has received criticism for some of his summer signings - including Joey Barton, Niko Kranjcar and Jordan Rossiter - with McParland also coming under fire.
Rangers' statement added: "It is important Rangers has a football management team that wants to be at the club that the board believes can take the club forward to meet our stated ambition to return to being the number one club in Scotland.
"We are clearly short of where we expected to be at this time. The representative acting for the management team subsequently attempted to alter the terms of what had been agreed in favour of the management team.
"A further board meeting was held this afternoon to discuss this and it was decided not to agree to this additional request but to hold with the original agreement.
"Mr Warburton, Mr Weir, and Mr McParland have therefore been notified in writing that their notices of termination have been accepted.
"The board is very appreciative of the good work previously done by the management team but believes it had no alternative. Our club must come first and absolute commitment is essential.
"U20 coach Graeme Murty will take interim charge of the team. We know our support will give him and our team their full backing. We thank our support for their loyalty and desire to be the best."